The proliferation of fake news on social media has become a major societal concern which has been shown to impact elections, referenda, and effective public health messaging (Lewandowsky et al., 2017). To combat this, there is now a growing body of research that focuses on the role of psychological and behavioural science in understanding and mitigating the spread of misinformation (Rapp & Salovich, 2018;Van Bavel et al., 2020). For example, research on belief revision has reported a 'continued influence effect' (CIE) where misinformation lingers in the mind of a person despite being categorically refuted (e.g., Ecker et al., 2010;Desai et al., 2020), simulations have attempted to replicate the seepage of misinformation in social networks (Lewandowsky et al., 2019), and inoculation theorists are building training tools to understand and enhance psychological resistance against misinformation. Such attempts have been conducted in the context of COVID-19 (Basol et al., 2021), political disinformation (Roozenbeek & van der Linden, 2020), and climate change (Maertens et al., 2020). While it is clear that important advances have been made in our understanding of the critical psychological functions that underpin how individuals seek out, process, and share misinformation -there is still much to do. Therefore, in this special topic, we are delighted to introduce six new papers which present novel, interesting, and engaging contributions to our understanding of the fake news phenomenon.


© 2023 Robertson, Shephard, Anderson, Huhe, Rapp and Madsen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Robertson, D., Shephard, M., Anderson, A., Huhe, N., Rapp, D. & Madsen, J. 2023, 'Editorial: The psychology of fake news on social media, who falls for it, who shares it, why, and can we help users detect it?', Frontiers in Psychology, 14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1236748

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Last updated: 18 July 2023
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